Even if you had to buy all of the wood, these shelves are still a cost effective way to store your stuff. If you don't have a basement and are limited on space, store stuff under beds, high up in closets, space under sofas, your garage and attic . A few years after Jocie and I moved into our home, the unfinished side of the basement looked like a we still hadn’t completely unpacked. If you’ve ever felt like your home could be featured on the TV show Hoarders, you know that good storage is vitally important for every home.
Click here to jump down to where I provide step-by-step directions for building your own shelves or read on for a few thoughts about purchasing shelves.
There are lots of great shelving options available, and my initial plan was to purchase some. Material: Building your own shelves probably means wood construction, but purchased shelves are available in a variety of materials that provide different benefits.
I made two of these supports with ladder rungs on both sides, and two more with ladder rungs only on one side. One reader brought up some valid concerns about using OSB- specifically strength and potential moisture problems. If you want to really buff up the structure, consider framing the OSB (or plywood) around the perimeter and adding strechers. Subscribe and never miss an article!Free articles delivered conveniently to your inbox(and no spam, we promise)Enjoy this?
Not sure why we didn’t look into building something like these ourselves in the first place, but we purchased five heavy duty plastic shelving units at HoDe for just under what you built this whole unit for.
After looking at the reference to AdvanTech sheathing, it would seem to me that if the cost wasn’t significantly higher, that might be a better choice for moisture- resistance reasons, unless it has much less strength. And yes, they serve incredibly well for pantry food storage also(canned goods, potatoes, and similar) Cedar would be expensive but it sure would help with the bugs we have here.
I have been looking for sturdy shelves to hold a record collection, but nothing in the stores that will hold the weight is within my price range.
Your beefed up shelving unit will do the trick, especially with edge supports and stretchers. This is a simple design but what you will find is the playwood will start to sag over time.
There never seems to be enough storage space in garages, but rollout shelves and sliding bypass units can make more efficient use of the sidewalls of your garage. This unique storage unit doubles as fun seating for kids, who can climb up to reach the cozy cushions above.
Turn a cluttered, unusable, unfinished basement room into a cheery and colorful sewing and craft room.
The HyLoft ceiling storage unit is a popular storage and organization solution for homeowners who want to get more out of their garage space. This would be a great way to add guest room capabilities to a basement storage area or something like it. That’s especially bad when it comes to my tools, parts, nails, screws, accessories, and all that because they’re getting more and more splayed out over the floor which means each trip to the basement is like walking through an obstacle course of boxes of screws trying to find what you’re looking for to do a project.
Getting everything up off the floor and onto shelves is always my first step in organizing. I can slide it right into the back of my jeep instead of strapping full sheets onto the roof. Stand your end pieces on their side about 8-feet apart and put what will be your top shelf support across the end pieces so you can get them the right distance apart, then put your bottom shelf support across to get the bottom about the right distance apart.
After measuring and notching your OSB you’ll need a partner, geometry, and blood, sweat, and tears to get the shelves in but THEY WILL GO.
It’s true, after picking out all the splinters you’ll get from handling OSB without gloves on you’ll be very pleased with yourself.
Now just finish off your shelves with some glitter and maybe hot glue some jewels and a scripty inspirational saying like “LOVE LIKE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN HURT” and you’ll be done. Sign up for the free Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine, which is filled with ideas + inspiration!
I guess I didn’t mention it in the post, but I sank a few screws down through the OSB into the supports on the front corner. Oh, BTW, Lowes had 2x4x8 on sale and I re-purposed some shelving for one of the units, so the total cost to me today for both was less than $120! As far as the nails versus screws, I had the same thought initially, but having 600+ nails left over from another project versus $40+ for 10 lbs of screws made this one a no brainer.
All kidding aside, finding these plans made it easy to tackle this project and more to come. Rarely the focal point of a room, the triangular shape of under-stairs space comes out from the shadows when fitted with display shelves and a small storage cabinet.
A reflection on your good taste, this under-stairs closet proudly announces its presence with mirrors cut to fit the angled shape. Shelves are dandy but storage solution aficionados know that drawers have two big advantages: They pull out for easy access, and their drawer fronts hide any messes from view.


If you like these, you may want to take a spin through HouseLogic’s library of slideshows. Please Select Username to appear on public areas of the site like community and recipe comments. DIY reused all of the materials from the old shelving units and bought some extra 2 x 4's to make a 3rd shelving unit.
Screws are so much better to put shelving together because this allows you to take them apart if you have to rework them another time.
With the right shelves, bins and probably a yard sale, you can eliminate clutter and create a well organized space.
By changing the individual shelf height, you can ensure that there isn’t any wasted space from a shelf being too big or too small.
You make a lot of the same cuts, there are no difficult calculations, and the shelves go together quickly.
I took some time to update the post, add additional thoughts, and make the instructions easier to understand.
They have a bunch of nice solid sheet metal shelves that are just bolted to 2x3s, some actually on their original supports, and a bunch more which are just sitting in their barn (along with a trailer containing a 2 story thing shelving unit that they haven’t gotten around to installing). These are white wire shelves what are pretty easy to adjust, and they used to hold dishes (LOTS of dishes) so I know they are super strong. Perhaps enough to pull it off of the bricks depending on your span unless there was a spreader of some type. The sad thing is they aren’t wide enough to put two Rubbermaid containers side by side like the old metal units we had from our last home so we had to find boxes to put things in. At the end of the post I describe ways to improve the strength of these shelves, and adding ribs is one of them. The way we’ve built them can easily be adapted to fit these shelves and they will be much stronger. I run one in my concrete floor and walled partial basement to prevent mold on all my precious junk. Got a question on your own project?Ask your question in our Home Improvement Help Forums.Otherwise, leave a note here! Check out this list of clever basement storage ideas, and you may find a solution to your storage problems in your basement.
The open shelves are perfect for housing blankets that can be easily obtained on those chillier days. Which REALLY sucks when you’re trying to navigate the obstacle course carrying a pancake compressor, nail gun, and shop vac. Even though the shelves might get cluttered, at least it’s all up off the floor and things can begin to find their place, and get categorized. YES, and I already did, I wrote a post about heavy duty shelving units in another organizing post, but it’s way more cost-effective to make your own.
Use the four 2-foot pieces from the corner post cuts to make the other 4 21-inch end pieces.
I made one for the end pieces and one for attaching the long 2x4s to the end pieces to make the skeleton.
Lay your 4 corner posts on the ground together and mark where the bottom of your 2×4 shelf supports will fit across all 4.
Remember, they need to be 21-inches so when your side brackets go on the total width will be 24-inches to fit your shelves. FIRST, decide whether your end brackets will be toward the inside of the shelves or toward the outside of the shelves.
To make it a little easier make sure to cut your notches a little larger than needed to give you some leeway when putting the shelves in. You’ll call your significant other to the basement and say, “Hon, look what I built”, and you’ll expect it to be like a Lowe’s commercial where you stand back, cross your arms and admire your work together or high five, and instead they’ll say, “Yeah, I know, I was just down here 5 minutes ago helping you wrestle those stupid shelves into place that you notched out instead of just letting them slide in like they mentioned being the easier way under step 3.” It’s OK though, we’re proud of you. Plus you can always follow them on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for even more great ideas! If you think it might feel tipsy you can always shim the feet in front so it’s tilting toward the wall a bit. I actually have the front legs of mine shimmed to make it lean slightly back toward the wall because my floor slopes slightly. It would take a LOT to get that shelf to slide off even without my screws, there’s natural friction and grippiness that holds it up there. In addition I was thinking of adding casters to the bottom to be able to move it around the basement if needed.
I have 2 cats that are way too curious and I have numerous hat boxes that I wouldn’t want to hurt them over. Thanks for answering every question in one comment that is more informative and better written than the post itself. Put school packs, shopping bags, and sunglasses right where you can nab them on your way out the door. Make a nifty hideaway in an under-stair nook, and add motion-sensor lighting that turns on when kids crawl inside (better yet, they automatically turn off after Junior exits).


Learn 12 new solutions for storage space problems—everything from hidden shelves to shoe racks to recycling towers and more. It would have been much more difficult to take apart the old shelves to make the new ones had he used nails.
I’ve also found that those big, Rubbermaid bins are perfect for keeping things organized.
You’ll also lose a little space but the sacrifice is worthwhile especially if you plan on storing really heavy items. I got as many of these shelves as I could fit in my house, I have 5 sets in the basement, one full of dishes, one is a pantry, and the other three are just plain old storage. The difficulty usually comes in hauling it or finding shelves small enough to fit in a basement or garage space, at least that was my problem. What do you think about the addition of attaching the bottom shelf supports to the floor with concrete anchors (while still using the joists for fixed attachment at the top)? Do I use 2×3 underneath the shelf itself and where do you anchore the 2×3 anchore supports underneath? About 58% humidity works without running a big electric bill as dehumidifiers use a lot of watts. Rollout shelves and sliding bypass units can make more efficient use of the sidewalls of your garage. A 48”x24”x72” unit could run about $80 whereas the lumber to build something TWICE that big is about the same (and takes about the same amount of time to assemble). I used scrap 2x4s (see right) to layout my sample shelf heights and marked from those, but you can use tape measures and all that if you have exact heights in mind. If they are INSIDE you’ll eventually have to cut a couple of inches off the OSB shelf pieces to slide in (makes it a LITTLE easier to assemble). Your way would work too, just drop the top supports down the thickness of your top shelf then it’s kind of inset.
I ended up only building with three shelves because I wanted a little more height from the floor to first shelf. If you were going to anchor these into a concrete wall (instead of shimming), how would you do it? You could probably use some kind of seatbelt-type strapping material as well (like backpack straps) but you’d need to make sure you had some good washers to keep it from ripping through. My next project is floor to ceiling buildin’s in the owners bedroom closet and I want to create cut sheet and steps. That little triangular area often has nothing going on behind it except raw, blank space you can put to good use.
The shelves were built and installed in about five hours, and they were by far the cheapest solution I found.
This is a really good idea in case your basement ever floods and it transfers some of the weight off the floor joists.
If you don’t have a table saw or circular saw handy, get the sheets cut when you purchase them at your local DIY center. I deleted all the original comments but made sure to address any questions, concerns or insights they brought to light. Since they came from a store, they were really tall (like 9-10 feet) and needed to be trimmed to fit in my short little basement. Only needed two 8′ legs on the front and the unit is strong enough for me to climb up them even when loaded. Or at least a block on the floor under the center of the bottom shelf, and legs in the center, the rest of the way up to the bottom of the top shelf. As for pre-screwing, I got all my screws ready to go on the workbench so I could slap the boards into place and screw away.
If you put them on the OUTSIDE (like I did) you’ll have to notch the OSB shelves to fit in. Little things I KNOW are important, but things that my own neurosis has failed to point out a few times. My next one might be longer, if it flexes in the middle you could always add a mid vertical support in the front and back after the fact.
I’m going to take the scrap OSB I notched out and drill through them and the corner posts to accept a dowel segment cut to size and glued in.
I plan on using 3″ drywall screws to put it together so we can disassemble and move when we move.
Well, the short, kind of accurate version, is that it has to do with the olde tyme days and mills cutting green wood that was actually 2×4 but dried at a smaller dimension.
I put the end brackets inside and as you said just cut about 4-5 inches off OSB length and they dropped right in- no notching required.
I did what I did because I think putting the brackets (2x4s) on the outside gained me like 6 or more extra inches of shelf space and if I lined them up along a wall they would be flush to each other like a continuous shelf instead of having space between them for things to fall down into.



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